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NWN2 News June 20, 2007

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Rob McGinnis

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Will Project X be a good game?  

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Neverwinter Nights 2 Community Update

June 20th, 2007

 

Another busy week has gone by. Since the last update, we have been playing on the 1.06 patch. Things are definitely improving and I am sure many of us are thankful for the undo functionality added to the toolset. [Edit: I was just sent a PM from JasonNH on the Bio Boards. Unfortunately, there appears to be an issue where Undo removes water. This was not reported in the beta, so some investigation is underway. New information: This is fixed in later builds. - Rob].

 

This week, we are going to talk about a new DM Client feature, the Model/Animation viewer, a couple toolset improvments, some great mods by Heed and Charlie and a little bit about the Red Wizard of Thay class in the expansion.

 

DM Client Facelift

One of the areas we have spent considerable time on for the 1.07 patch is the DM Client. In this first pass we are trying to get the DM Client to be useable for DM-led events and adventures. For 1.07 you should see console commands accessible, a new UI for changing players' alignments, and notes will be visible in the creator (The stuff between the {} brackets in the toolset) among many other changes.

 

We have also added a new feature to the Player List for DMs. This new feature will allow you to apply a filter to your Player List to only show the players you want to see. That means, say you are a DM on a server with 60+ players; you can select the players in the event you are running and filter your Player List to only show those few players.

 

Here's a screenshot to illustrate

 

DMFilterList.jpg

 

The shot above is a picture of a Work In Progress. The portrait on top will be the portrait of your DM Avatar. It will always remain at the top. The two buttons below the portrait are for showing the selected players and showing all the players. The pic also shows the checkboxes for selecting the players.

 

Model/Animation Viewer

By now, those of you that have been using the toolset should have seen the new Model & Animation Viewer plugin included with the 1.06 patch. This tool is leading the way for the Granny export tools that will allow Custom Content Creators to create custom animations for creatures and objects. The Animation Viewer will allow you to see what animations are available for each model, frames and much more.

 

Toolset Improvements

Coming up in the 1.07 patch we'll see a few more toolset improvements. Two of those improvements are the ability to switch between male & female models in the Armor Set tab for armor properties, and the other is the SetLightActive script that will allow modders to turn lights on and off through script - without having to create and destroy them all the time.

 

 

Heed's PC Tools

Heed's PC Tools is a GUI driven suite of tools allowing player characters to perform a variety of functions. The majority of the functionality will likely be of most interest to those playing multiplayer games. PC Tools allows players access to common functions such as saving the character, displying an "AFK" visual effect, checking the game date/time, unsticking the character from unpathable locations, creation of campfire or tent objects, a full emote studio including visual effect props such as mandolin, flute, shovel, rake, etc., a dice roll pane for rolling standard die rolls as well as ability, save and skill, 9 custom buttons for end user addition of functionality -- and more! The interface is collapsable down to a core element which can be left open on screen by the player without excessive obscuring of the available screen space. Further minimization can be done so that entire menu collapses into a single icon.

 

1176907325_fullres.jpg

 

1176907358_fullres.jpg

 

 

Charlie's Item Appearance Changer

Tired of your gear looking like everyone else's? Change it! Charlie's Item Appearance Changer is a UI-driven system that allows you to select from a range of item appearances for your visible equipment! It can be installed for use in the official campaign, or added to your new module or online world. You can preview different armor, weapons, cloaks, helms, boots, gloves and shields.

 

1182254363_fullres.jpg

 

Both Heed's PC Tools and Charlie's Item Appearance Changer are available on Neverwinter Vault.

 

The Red Wizard of Thay

In the expansion, we are including the Red Wizard of Thay prestige class. This long-awaited class is a very welcome addition for me, and I am sure it is for many of you too. So, I thought I'd take a moment to go over the Red Wizard and how it's implemented.

 

Requirements: The Red Wizard prestige class requires that you be human and have any non-good alignment. You must have 8 ranks in the Spellcraft skill and at least one metamagic feat or item creation feat (other than scribe scroll). Other feats you must have are Spell Penetration and Greater Spell Penetration, too. On top of all that you must be a specialist wizard with the ability to cast at least 3rd level arcane spells.

 

Class Features: The Red Wizard uses the d4 Hit Die, just like a normal wizard and has a low base attack bonus (BAB). Her high save is Will. Red Wizards gain no armor or weapon proficiencies and gain 2 skill points, plus intelligence modifier, per level in skill points.

 

The special features a Red Wizard gains are as follows (not listed in any particular order):

 

1. Red Wizards continue to gain spells per level as though gaining a level in Wizard.

2. Enhanced Specialization: Upon becoming a Red Wizard, the character becomes even more skilled at casting spells from his chosen school of specialization.

3. Specialist Defense: A Red Wizard gains a bonus to defending against schools from his specialist school.

4. Spell Power: The Red Wizard's effective caster level for determining level-dependent variable checks is increased by +1.

5. Wizard Bonus Feat: Red Wizards gain a bonus metamagic or item creation feat.

 

 

Unfortunately, we were not able to implement the Red Wizard's ability to perform Circle Magic for the expansion. Given the time we had, and the complexities involved, we felt it would be better for everyone if we spent time on other features for the expansion. Even with this in mind, the class is great fun to play... and... well... who doesn't want to be a Red Wizard?

 

For more information and background on the Red Wizards, checkout their Wikipedia Entry.

 

Persistent World Spotlight

Each week, we would like to do a spotlight on a different Persistent World in each Community Update. I invite all of your Persistent World admins and owners out there to write up a small description of your world and to go over its high points. You also should include a section that answers the question "Why would I want to play on this server?" This will be a great opportunity to really "sell" the virtues of your PW to all those players out there.

 

You can PM your write-ups to me here on these boards. Next week, we will be taking a quick look at The Frontier.

 

 

 

 

That's about it for this week's update. It would have been up earlier today, but I just wanted to be able to tell you that stealth and perception should be greatly improved with 1.07. In essence, it works like it did in NWN1, but there may need to be some adjustments due to the Companion system.

 

Tschuz!

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What can I say, as prestige classes go, your Red Wizard was definitely--the easiest to code?

 

Pretty mundane guy without the Tattoo scribing feat and the two Circle Magics.

 

Definitely would've been a popular multiplayer class--just for the free player feat granting ability, let alone Red Wizard hunting parties running around casting as effectively 40th level casters.

 

How much coding would it have been? A spell-like ability or two to bring up a menu to establish whether you're a leader or a participant, what options you want to tweak for the spell's output, a script to deplete the members' spells on use, a script to check the party is in proximity of each other? CAKE.

 

In summary, thanks for the wasted prestige class slot. :p

 

RED WIZARD

 

The Red Wizards are the masters of Thay, the would-be magical overlords of the land of Faer

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How much coding would it have been? A spell-like ability or two to bring up a menu to establish whether you're a leader or a participant, what options you want to tweak for the spell's output, a script to deplete the members' spells on use, a script to check the party is in proximity of each other? CAKE.

 

That would have been a kludgey way to do it. Which would have caused even more complaints.

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That's a ton of great news, Rob. Awesome! Thx. I'm especially looking forward to the PW Spotlight. :)

I second that... a part PW Spotlight... seeing that it will be "English language PW Spotlight" so I can't be so interested. ;)

 

However I like to ask if you could add a sort of "SetLightActive" script for other type of placeables, too... ex: placeable effects (I created a randomizer for it, too... and it has to destroy e recreate them each time)... but also as much thing as possible (almost "everything placeable" should be good! :)).

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How much coding would it have been? A spell-like ability or two to bring up a menu to establish whether you're a leader or a participant, what options you want to tweak for the spell's output, a script to deplete the members' spells on use, a script to check the party is in proximity of each other? CAKE.

 

That would have been a kludgey way to do it. Which would have caused even more complaints.

 

I understand your decision. However, is it possible we might someday get it with patch? (like, patch 1.56 or something :p )

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In a way I'm sad there won't be any circle magic, but if I think about it, circle magic has never been the core of the class anyway for me personally. That is, the times I've ever played a red wizard I was always the only caster in the party anyway.

 

In the end, I'm glad you got the specialisation and the wizard class correct. After reading the many requests on the BW forums that demanded a "red sorcerer" I was fearing for it. But I'm extremely glad you guys decided to stick to the rules and make it specialist wizard only.

 

And really, if the circle magic could be sloppily created with spell like abilities as an above poster pointed out, that just means someone in the community will be able to add that easily afterwards, in the meanwhile I'm glad we got at least the core abilities of my favorite spellcaster class ingame.

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Great news on all fronts, Rob. Thanks for posting such exciting info. The work going into the DM Client and the MP side of things will be repaid a thousandfold, I believe, by the longevity of the game and by the joy so many will get from it (not the least, myself).

Regards,

JFK

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That would have been a kludgey way to do it. Which would have caused even more complaints.

 

Um, what I described took longer to type than solve in my head.

 

I know the scripts and data behind this game embarrassingly well. So your comment sure feels like the pot calling the kettle...

 

As I'm sure you're painfully aware, the more interesting elements of D&D do not all necessarily conform to elegant, easily codeable systems. Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook and Skip Williams aren't sitting around lamenting, what feat or bonus they could regurgitate next, "to make life easier on the devs over at Obsidian".

 

And I think you're fooling yourself that a properly represented RWoT would win complaints upon release.

 

The Red Wizard is a beloved & villainous prestige class. Misrepresenting core DM Guide material, which is so readily replicable, in the way proposed frankly bites. Just saying if you're going to add new content--add new content!

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Just a quick note to say that there is now a second download package of PC Tools available which is an entire translation of PC Tools into the French language by The_sAm.

 

This is a complete translation of the entire package including the script file, readme, demo module, hak and erf. If you are playing/building in the French language, then everything you need is in that package. If you are playing on a server that uses the English language package and want your PC Tools to be in French, then just rename the hak from heed_pc_tools_french.hak to heed_pc_tools.hak

 

The_sAm has done a great job on this and put in a lot of work to get it done. I thank him for providing me with a copy so I can distribute it with the main English package.

 

Oh, and thanks for the promo Rob. :)

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